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Initial thoughts on rating teachers with student test scores

May 12, 2010 am31 12:25 am

Back in the fall, I was the only no vote on the UFT Executive Board against the Gates Measures of Effective Teaching Project (METIP). Student tests do not provide a useful lens for observing how well someone teaches.

Even if the tests were good tests, no. The tests are being used to assess students. Those scores can’t be reused to rate the teachers. All kinds of good work that shows that using tests for two sorts of ratings at once distorts the results of both.

But these tests stink. Our president said over and over that they did. Well, no, he said they were broken. “Tweed is closing schools based on broken tests.” Good tests would be lousy to rate teachers with. Bad tests?

Why are we promoting testing?  Too many tests already. Every teacher knows it.

Too much test prep already. But now?  Do you test prep to get the kids to the next level (even if what they really need is a nice bit of untested Art or Science or Recess?)  Or are you now test prepping because you are nervous about their scores effect your scores?  And now multiply that across a few score thousand teachers… And remember all those principals already inclined to cheat … ?

I haven’t read the details. I don’t know how they will handle Art and PE teachers. I don’t know how, in high school, they will treat teachers with non-regents courses?  Will they devise additional tests for them?  A teacher teaching Global 1 and 2, no regents. So do they give the kids a make-believe regents?  And the teacher of Global 3 and Global 4 — the kids take a regents based on 1 – 4 — who does the credit really belong to him?

The proposal has lots of stuff to be worked out by the DoE and the UFT. Does this go into effect even if they don’t work things out?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rycki permalink
    May 15, 2010 am31 9:35 am 9:35 am

    And what about Kindergarten teachers? How do you show growth? Test in the beginning of the year and then at the end? More tests!!!

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